The first American Consul arrived in Baghdad in 1888 when present-day Iraq was still part of the Ottoman Empire. The United States recognized Iraq as an independent state in 1930 and opened an American Legation in Baghdad the next year, promoting it to Embassy status in 1946. Iraq severed diplomatic ties with the United States in 1967 as a result of American diplomatic support for Israel during the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War. The U.S. Embassy reopened in 1984, but the countries ended diplomatic relations again in 1991 when Saddam Hussein Iraq invaded Kuwait and set off the Persian Gulf War. In 2004 the U.S. resumed diplomatic relations with the Iraqi Interim Government and established a new Embassy in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone. This new Embassy is the largest embassy in the world.
- Bringing American culture to Iraq through events like a digital video conference with Palestinian American poet Naomi Shihab Nye and a screening of To Kill a Mockingbird
- Using the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation to fund the $2 million conservation of the 6th-century B.C. Ishtar Gate at the ancient site of Babylon and other projects
- Facilitating the delivery of some 1,000 books to the Iraq National Museum Library
- Dialoguing with reporters like Al Jazeera’s Ayman Mohyeldin about the power of social media and citizen journalism in shaping contemporary events
- Supporting the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) Civic Education and Leadership Fellowship, an opportunity for professors of the social sciences at Iraqi universities to engage in 4-month residencies in the U.S.